Tuesday, March 13, 2012

SOLS #13: Road Tripping with Dad

Today is my dad's birthday.  He jokingly - well, I hope it was jokingly - told me I couldn't write about him here on this blog.  Well, he should have known not a single family member is safe in this challenge.  A girl's gotta write about what a girl's gotta write about to get a piece in by the deadline.   


Since today is his birthday, I wanted to take time to tell one of my favorite stories about my dad.  Everyone in the family knows Dad likes to go for random drives.  When I first got my driver's license I excitedly jumped in the car to drive to visit my grandparents only to find I wasn't sure how to get there since we had taken a different route nearly every time we visited.  Riding with Dad is always an adventure.  For me, someone who takes life a little too seriously, random adventure is a good thing.  Happy birthday, Dad!  


When we were growing up my dad worked second shift.  I'm really not sure how he did it in a house that really functioned on a first shift schedule.  On Saturday mornings I can remember Mom trying to keep us quiet while Dad slept after getting home late from work.  Our schedules were a little different than his.  We were typically coming home from school just as he was leaving for work.  By the time he got home at night we had all been asleep for quite some time.

We didn't see Dad much during the week even though we knew he was there.  When Friday would roll around my brother, Chad, and I would try with all of our might to stay awake until Dad came in the door just after midnight.  We'd watch television.  We'd grab late night snacks.  We'd poke each other awake and hope to make it until Dad came sneaking in the door.  Thinking back, I'm guessing most Friday nights we didn't make it.  On those nights, Dad likely found us sound asleep on the couch.

There were the nights we managed to keep ourselves awake until Dad came home.  Oh, do I remember those nights!  As soon as Dad entered the living room we'd beg and plead with him to take us on a late night road trip.  Some nights we won the back and forth.  Sometimes he just had to give in to our persistence.  We'd sneak quietly out the door past Mom who was sound asleep.

I remember heading in to White Castle for hamburgers when most of the world was asleep.  There was hardly a car on the road as we left our quiet lane and headed into Columbus for a late night treat.  It was fun to be in the car with Dad late at night.  We'd go through the drive-thru, pick up our hamburgers, and then Dad would take us on a random drive before heading home to sneak back in past Mom and up to our beds for the night.

Sometimes we talked Dad into bigger adventures.  I'll never forget the night we took off and went to Putt-Putt well after the rest of our small town had turned their lights off for the night.  It seemed we had the place virtually to ourselves.  Putt-putting under the stars was a brand new adventure.  I didn't know any other kid who had parents that would venture out late at night like that.  It was like the world belonged to us.

Today I still like to go on road trips with my dad.  He chauffeurs me to my kids' sporting events and always manages a coffee stop.  In the summer we go on a random drive every now and then to places near and far.  When I get in the car with him I know there will always be plenty of adventure, great sights to see and good conversation.   Most of all, I know, the time with my dad will always give me something to smile about.

12 comments:

  1. Love finds expression in so many ways. I will look at the stars tonight a bit differently. Happy birthday to your da.

    ReplyDelete
  2. What great memories you've had and are still enjoying with your dad. He sounds like so much fun to be with and I love how you felt like the world belonged to you. It doesn't get much better than that when you are a kid. What a great feeling and a great dad! Happy b-day to him:)

    ReplyDelete
  3. Your slice gave me such a clear sense of the connection between you, your brother and your dad -the way you 'played' together. Isn't it amazing how you were able to do that despite the fact that your dad worked that second shift? Says a lot about him, about how much joy it must have given HIM to see you and your brother awake and ready for adventure on Friday nights. You are a great storyteller, Cathy.

    ReplyDelete
  4. Happy Birthday to your dad! I love the adventures - the late night trips. I could easily visualize you all putt-putting under the stars.

    ReplyDelete
  5. I like how you told a favorite story in honor of your dad's birthday. I bet this is one of his favorite "gifts" this year.
    Ruth

    ReplyDelete
  6. I love these memories. That time with a parent is so special, isn't it? I'm so glad you still take road trips with your dad.
    Happy birthday to him!!

    ReplyDelete
  7. What a great dad story! I loved the three of you sneaking out on your secret "road trips." And how special that you still get to enjoy him! Hope he had a great birthday!

    ReplyDelete
  8. This is a beautiful memory piece about your dad, and for your dad. You made me miss my dad it's so sweet. Wouldn't it be lovely if every dad (parent) realized that you can show such love for you kids with just a little extra energy and a lot of good humor just by having an adventure late at night. I think it's absolutely the best story that shows a dad, after working his shift, would stay up longer to take his kids on a road trip. Thanks Cathy!

    ReplyDelete
  9. You captured road trips with Dad perfectly. I also love how he sings on road trips. Such good times!!!!!!

    ReplyDelete
  10. Love this! I agree, this is a wonderful gift for your dad today...

    ReplyDelete
  11. Great story and of course your brother loved it too! Thanks Cathy

    ReplyDelete
  12. Your story really touched me and made me miss my dad even more than I normally do! I love that you treasure those times with him and am sure he feels the same way. :)

    ReplyDelete

My One Little Word for 2018

You know I loved my word for 2017.  I'm a little sad to let it go .  STRETCH will certainly be missed. Here are my past words: ST...